For the budget traveller, accommodation options are aplenty in most places along the route. Obviously, the more affordable hotels/motels are located along the highway, and may require you to travel some distance to find the coast. More luxurious accommodation is also available in some of the bigger towns along the way, and there are even a few high-end secluded eco-resorts that are definitely worth checking out, if you can afford them.
Whilst on the highway, quintessential Tamilian food is easily available. Fans of crisp dosas or soft idlis, with fresh chutney and sambar (of varying dilution levels) should be easily appeased. “Meals” or “Saapad” at any local restaurant is a safe bet around lunch time. Contrary to popular belief, non-vegetarian food isn’t particularly difficult to find either, especially around dinner time. I would recommend trying out the Kothu Parotta (a concoction of masala onions, tomatoes and eggs, mixed up with minced parottas and the gravy-of-the-day) and also sampling some of the fish curries (preferably, something made with the fresh local catch). If you’re staying at a more up-market resort, then obviously, the variety of food available will also be more diverse.
There’s a lot more to the East Coast of Tamil Nadu than just a drive to Puducherry. And the only way to discover what it has to offer is by pushing the boundary a bit and exploring the Deep South. I’ve done it, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone from any part of the world. Need a little bit more convincing? Do watch the travel vlogs I made of this trip by clicking on these links: Part 1 and Part 2.